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Twycross Zoo on Facebook

UK Zoo Offers Redheads Free Admission on International Orangutan Day

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Twycross Zoo on Facebook

Blondes might have more fun, but on August 19, redheads can ape out for free at the Twycross Zoo near Birmingham, England. The zoo is waiving the admission fee for all redheads in honor of International Orangutan Day, Konbini reports, even if attendees weren't born with high levels of pheomelanin, the pigment that gives hair follicles that vibrant hue.

International Orangutan Day, an annual observance, was created to bring more attention to the great ape species and educate the public on ways that they can help protect it. According to the Twycross Zoo, orangutans of Borneo and Sumatra, as well as other species, are being pushed out of their homes as forests are cleared for oil palm plantations.

The zoo houses four Bornean orangutans and hopes that, by extending the admission offer to human redheads, more people will visit the zoo to learn about and help the apes.

"Of all the days in the calendar, International Orangutan Day seems most fitting to come together and unite to help spread the word of the endangerment of orangutans," Emma Kelly, founder of the redhead blog Ginger Parrot, told the Nottingham Post. "They're our ginger pals; not just because humans share 97 percent of their DNA with them. Redheads need to stick together, after all!"

[h/t Konbini]

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Big Questions
Why Do Cats Freak Out After Pooping?
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Cats often exhibit some very peculiar behavior, from getting into deadly combat situations with their own tail to pouncing on unsuspecting humans. Among their most curious habits: running from their litter box like a greyhound after moving their bowels. Are they running from their own fecal matter? Has waste elimination prompted a sense of euphoria?

Experts—if anyone is said to qualify as an expert in post-poop moods—aren’t exactly sure, but they’ve presented a number of entertaining theories. From a biological standpoint, some animal behaviorists suspect that a cat bolting after a deposit might stem from fears that a predator could track them based on the smell of their waste. But researchers are quick to note that they haven’t observed cats run from their BMs in the wild.

Biology also has a little bit to do with another theory, which postulates that cats used to getting their rear ends licked by their mother after defecating as kittens are showing off their independence by sprinting away, their butts having taken on self-cleaning properties in adulthood.

Not convinced? You might find another idea more plausible: Both humans and cats have a vagus nerve running from their brain stem. In both species, the nerve can be stimulated by defecation, leading to a pleasurable sensation and what some have labeled “poo-phoria,” or post-poop elation. In running, the cat may simply be working off excess energy brought on by stimulation of the nerve.

Less interesting is the notion that notoriously hygienic cats may simply want to shake off excess litter or fecal matter by running a 100-meter dash, or that a digestive problem has led to some discomfort they’re attempting to flee from. The fact is, so little research has been done in the field of pooping cat mania that there’s no universally accepted answer. Like so much of what makes cats tick, a definitive motivation will have to remain a mystery.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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Animals
Listen to the Impossibly Adorable Sounds of a Baby Sloth
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RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/GettyImages

Sometimes baby sloths seem almost too adorable to be real. But the little muppet-faced treasures don't just look cute—turns out they sound cute, too. We know what you're thinking: How could you have gone your whole life without knowing what these precious creatures sound like? Well, fear not: Just in time for International Sloth Day (today), we have some footage of how the tiny mammals express themselves—and it's a lot of squeaking. (Or maybe that's you squealing?)

The sloths featured in the heart-obliterating video below come from the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica. The institution rescues orphaned sloths, rehabilitates them, and gets them ready to be released back into the wild.

[h/t The Kid Should See This]

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